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Season in Review

Syracuse's regular season of scorched earth is over and with only the smoldering remains of St. John's left in the wind, let's take a quick look at some of the high and low points in the Orange's 2010 campaign.

The items below aren't necessarily superlatives, but rather straightforward instances of peaks and valleys. As you'll see, there are two strands of constants: In the "most" or "best" categories, Syracuse dominated the game; in the "fewest" or "worst" categories, the Orange probably played Virginia.

Look: I never said that I was changing your universe. All I'm trying to do is define it.

Most Total Possessions: Albany (101)
This was an insanely fast game. To give a little context to this stat, Syracuse averaged a tempo of about 76 possessions per game. Albany was a little quicker at 78 possessions per game.

The national average? 70.

I haven't seen a game this quick involving Syracuse in a long time. The Orange's next-fastest game in 2010 was against St. John's (92 possessions), probably because Syracuse was attempting to flee Jamaica, Queens.

Most Offensive Possessions: Albany (58)
Here's the best part of that Syracuse-Albany game: Of the total possessions, 57% were Syracuse offensive possessions.

That's how you win ball games. You can thank the Orange's ride for this statistic, as Albany cleared at only a 63% clip in the game.

Most Defensive Possessions: Providence (44)
The Friars won 60% of the draws on the day. It's a good thing that Providence couldn't shoot or else this may have been trouble.

Fewest Offensive Possessions: Princeton (31)
Fewest Defensive Possessions: Princeton (25)
Regardless of what the numbers are showing me, this game still stands out in my mind as Syracuse's most complete performance on the year. Despite the fact that Princeton dictated the tempo (the Tigers were the slowest team in the country this year), the Orange dictated the performance.

Syracuse saw 10 fewer offensive possessions that it usually sees during a game. Didn't matter.

Best Offensive Efficiency: Villanova (42.5532)
Welcome to the Big East, Villanova. Here's a crushing demolition of your defense as a Welcome to the Neighborhood gift.

How did Syracuse run up this efficiency? Well, taking a shot per possession and holding a 41% effective shooting percentage helps.

Worst Offensive Efficiency: Cornell (22.2222)
Let's pretend this game didn't happen except for the last four seconds, okay? Good.

There is an important focus here, though. Remember that Stephen Keogh sat for most of this Cornell game. Just an interesting fact for contextual purposes.

Best Defensive Efficiency: Providence (11.3636)
Oh, Providence. You adorable scamps. Someday you'll learn how to play this game.

I am convinced that this efficiency peak has more to do with the Friars' offensive incompetence rather than the Syracuse defense doing anything more than maintaining life through breathing and having a beating heart.

Worst Defensive Efficiency: Virginia (33.3333)
The more I look at Syracuse's and Virginia's seasons, the more I think that John Lade's absence significantly impacted the Orange in their head-to-head meeting. There's another piece of the puzzle that is indicated below, but I think the ultimate doom for Syracuse against the Cavaliers was the Orange's defense, which Lade would've help bolster.

Anyway, let's not dwell on "what-if's" and "should've been's." That's the kind of stuff that Johns Hopkins is good at and it would be rude to steal their thunder.

Best Efficiency Margin: Princeton (25.9355)
I mentioned it above: Total domination.

Worst Efficiency Margin: Virginia (-3.0303)
The defense just wasn't there for Syracuse down in Charlottesville. That's your story.

Most Shots per Possession (Offensive): Hobart (1.4359)
I don't remember Syracuse bombing away at Hobart, but the Orange did.

What's even more interesting is that Syracuse almost took a shot more a possession than Hobart in that game. That's weird, especially considering it was a one-goal game/miracle.

Fewest Shots per Possession (Offensive): Notre Dame (.6818)
I'm going to chalk this up to two things:

  1. Miserable weather; and
  2. Notre Dame is pretty solid on the defensive end.
As context, in this game Syracuse shot as frequently as Hobart did when the Statesmen played the Orange. And yet Syracuse won. That's the mark of a potential champion.

Best Effective Shooting Percentage (Offensive): Villanova (40.7809)
This was doorstep and transition offense all day for the Orange. When Syracuse shoots this well, it basically morphs into a lacrosse Godzilla that cares not of your restraining area or stall warnings.

Worst Effective Shooting Percentage (Offensive): Virginia (13.5698)
This is the other side of the Syracuse-Virginia "what-if" scenario. As I noted above, I think that Syracuse's primary issue against the Cavaliers was the Orange's defense as it played significantly worse that it had all season (about 12 goals per 100 possessions worse than its season average).

But Syracuse's shooting wasn't all that hot, either. I mean, this was an atrocious shooting performance. The Orange went 5-6 on the man-up and still only managed a 13% effective shooting percentage.

That's horrendous, especially when you consider that the Orange was throwing about 1.3 shots per possession toward the cage. Bury the bean, sons!

Best Effective Shooting Percentage (Defensive): Princeton (10.5567)
I think I just misspelled "Princeton." It should be "P-W-N-D."

Worst Effective Shooting Percentage (Defensive): Hobart (33.3333)
You can throw out the records when Syracuse and Hobart battle for the Kraus-Simmons Trophy.

Well, not really. You get the idea, though. Wait, what was that? You don't? Well, go to hell then because I don't like you and you smell like feet.

1 Responses to “Season in Review”

  1. # Blogger Josh

    I do NOT smell like feet!!!  

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